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Regional Planning Committee - Media Briefs

Plan Change on Oil & Gas Exploration

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Planning Committee is recommending the Regional Council work towards a Plan Change to prohibit oil and gas activities in the fresh and coastal water bodies in Hawke’s Bay.

Preliminary legal advice to today’s Regional Planning Committee meeting indicated the Council is empowered under the Resource Management Act to proceed with a Plan Change provided it has clear, robust justifications and evidence to do so.

However, Group Manager Strategic Planning James Palmer warned the meeting it could be a tough and costly battle.

Regional Planning Committee Co-Chairman Rex Graham told the meeting he felt the Council should make a stand on this issue and not be intimidated by perceived threats from outside the region.

The Committee is recommending the Council engage a consultant to prepare a Plan Change ready for public consultation.


Discussion on a moratorium on the release of GMOs in Hawke’s Bay

The introduction of genetically modified organisms into Hawke’s Bay was discussed by the Regional Planning Committee today.

The meeting heard that the authority regional councils have, relating to introducing GMOs to the regions, is currently before the courts and it would make sense to wait and see what happens before taking any local action.

Regional Planning Committee Co-Chairman Toro Waaka told the meeting it was important the Council pursued this matter.

“We have to ensure our community keeps the right to make decisions that protect our waterways in Hawke’s Bay,” says Mr Waaka.

The Committee is recommending the Regional Council signal its intent to take a precautionary approach to the matter, pending the outcome of several court cases elsewhere in New Zealand.

Both matters go to the full council for confirmation on 29 March.

1 March 2017

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